In this episode of "People's Party With Talib Kweli," Kweli and Jasmin Leigh sit down with DJ, producer, writer, arranger and founding member of one of hip hop's most iconic groups, A Tribe Called Quest:
ALI SHAHEED MUHAMMAD
Here's what we got into:
• Why in 1991 all the hip hop heads thought they knew where ATCQ lived.
• Ali's Uncle Mike being a huge part of his and Tribe's musical journey.
• Why Tribe's sound was distinctively different since the very beginning.
• How a young Ali Shaheed Muhammad navigated growing up in Brooklyn.
• The hip hop alumni of Murry Bergtraum High School that included Ali.
• How Tribe was formed and what those first meetings were like.
• Phife Dawg's legacy, how smart he was, and his mastery of punchlines.
• Talib's first meeting Ali in 1991 when he was only 15 years old.
• Tribe's "not-so-warm reception" from some that didn't understand.
• DJ Red Alert's influence on the culture and his part in Tribe's success.
• The formation of Native Tongues and how they supported each other.
• Love for Chris Lighty and how he'll be remembered by the people he helped.
• The making of 'Low End Theory' and how the album changed hip hop.
• Engineer Bob Power's importance to the process of creating Tribe's sound.
• How the "Low End" had more meaning than just the bass.
• The message they wanted to send with the 'Midnight Marauders' cover.
• Who was the voice behind the 'Midnight Marauders' tour guide.
• Emotional reflection on the loss of Phife Dawg and his health challenges.
• What inspired the spiritual core of A Tribe Called Quest.
• The challenges of being a Muslim and navigating life as a rap star.
• The musical relationship with long-time collaborator Raphael Saadiq.
• Ali's opportunity to co-produce D'Angelo's classic 'Brown Sugar.'
• Linking up with Adrian Younge through Twitter.
• The chemistry between Ali and Adrian with their similar musical journeys.
• Obtaining an orchestra arrangement for the 'Luke Cage' soundtrack.
• Breaking down the intentions behind the 'Jazz Is Dead' series.
• Paying homage and giving flowers to these Jazz legends.
• What Ali Shaheed Muhammad has coming next.